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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

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" may be given to any community, even to the world at large, by
applying certain means ; which are to a great extent at the com-
mand, and under the control, or easily made so, of those who
possess the government of nations." It follows from this that
the best governed State will be that which has the best national
system of education, and he advocated accordingly that a uniform
system of education on an undenominational basis should be
established throughout the United Kingdom by the government.
What this uniform system should be he does not make clear.
In his own school at New Lanark, he adopted the methods of Bell
and Lancaster (who, he says, " will henceforward be ranked
among the most important benefactors of the human race "), but
he was not satisfied with the kind of education commonly given*
" According to the present system, children may learn to read,
write, account, and sew, and yet acquire the worst habits and
have their minds irrational for life,'5 If the adult community
were good and intelligent, there would be no difficulty about
making the children the same. As it is not, it is essential to get the
children into school or at any rate into the playground, as soon
as possible—he suggests the age of two—to get impressed with
the idea " that they must endeavour to make their companions
happy " if they want to be happy themselves. " In addition to
the knowledge of the principle and practice of the above-mentioned
precept, the boys and girls are to be taught in the school to read
well and to understand what they read, to write expeditiously a
good legible hand, and to learn correctly so that they may com-
prehend and use with facility the fundamental rules of arithmetic.
The girls are also to be taught to sew, cut out, and make up
useful family garments, and after acquiring a sufficient knowledge
of these, they are to attend in rotation in the public kitchen and
eating-rooms, to learn to prepare wholesome economical food,
and to keep a house neat and well-arranged." A more revolution-
ary scheme is given by him in The New Moral World, in which
he sets forth the advancement of children from birth to twenty
in four stages, resulting in " men and women of a new race,
physically, intellectually, and morally/' From birth to five, they
are to live in a healthy environment and so acquire the virtues of
unselfishness and tolerance and learn about common objects.
From five to ten, they are to be educated by dealing with things
and conversing with their elders, all by way of " amusement and